Moms, one of the most active demographics on social media, are now on the leading edge of a behavioral shift of which marketers should take note. According to eMarketer, they may soon become the first demographic group who will use the mobile phone or tablet more often than the computer to access social networks. A new report from the company estimates that as many as half of all moms with children under 18 in the household will use mobile devices to access social networks in 2012. This trend isn't just about smartphones, as tablet ownership trends higher for moms compared to the population as a whole. Arbitron and Edison Research found in a February 2012 study that just over one in five U.S. moms owns a tablet, compared to one in six total consumers.
eMarketer found this this shift is due to a number of factors. In addition to tablets, they found that moms are highly likely to own a smartphone. The Arbitron and Edison study also found that 61% of total U.S. moms surveyed owned a smartphone in 2012, ahead of the 44% of total consumers who owned one. This percentage has grown rapidly over the last several years, as Arbitron reported only 8% smartphone adoption among moms in 2009. These devices allow moms to log in more frequently, which is helpful as moms may not have time for long visits to social networking websites in a typical day. Mobile allows moms to check into social networks during spare moments.
Moms are changing the rules of the marketing game as they start to put mobile first for social media. As such, it is not enough for companies to simply add mobile to the mix. eMarketer concludes their report by noting that marketers must consider moms' social media usage holistically and plan their marketing accordingly- not only taking account of when and where they use social media, but also how and why.